Dream On (Whatever After #4) Review
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Unabridged Digital Audiobook
Runtime: 3 hours, 2 minutes
Read by Emily Eiden

With each new book in the Whatever After series, author Sarah Mlynowski takes her young characters on a new adventure to fairy tale land, where they end up in one of their favorite classic tales. The setup itself offers plenty of potential for twists and surprises—but, in the fourth book in the series, Dream On, the author adds another twist: an extra traveler.

The story begins as 10-year-old Abby is having a sleepover with her new friend, Robin. She has all kinds of plans for a fun night—none of which include a trip through the magic mirror in the basement. But when Robin starts sleepwalking, Abby, her sleeping friend, and her little brother, Jonah, all end up in the story of Sleeping Beauty. It isn’t long before Robin accidentally pricks herself on the spindle of a spinning wheel—and Abby and Jonah have just a matter of hours to wake her up, fix the fairy tale, and find their way back to Smithville before Robin’s parents come to pick her up.

While there was definitely nothing dull or tedious about the first three books in the Whatever After series, the addition of a new character in fairy tale land definitely adds a new twist. Robin’s sleepwalking sends her through the mirror, and Abby and Jonah have to save Abby’s sleeping friend in a limited amount of time. Each kingdom runs on its own time—sometimes, for instance, a day in fairytale land equals just an hour in Smithville. This time, however, they have no time to spare, adding a whole new urgency to their adventure.

As they set out to save Robin, Abby and Jonah encounter all kinds of likable characters—from the energetic young prince to the kingdom’s band of fairies. Even the story’s bad fairy—the daughter of the one who came up with the curse in the first place—has her own endearing qualities.

This story’s message, too, is a good one: be happy with what you have today. Just as Abby wishes for a cool big sister or a cell phone like her friend, the princess wishes for the future—for new technology and her handsome prince. In the end, both realize that they need to be content with who they are and what they have—and that makes for a fractured fairy tale that’s both entertaining and uplifting.

Dream On is another fun-filled adventure through fairy tale land. With its lovable characters, its surprising story, and its inspiring message, it’s sure to be a favorite with kids and parents alike.

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